FINE Gael TD, John Paul Phelan, has welcomed news that four additional wind turbines are to be developed on lands in his home parish of Tullogher as part of an investment designed to provide energy for thousands of homes.
The 33 year-old TD made his comments as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD, attended the official opening on Thursday of Bord Gáis Energy’s first developed wind farm, Ballymartin Wind Farm in Tullogher.
“This investment is welcome news for South Kilkenny. The Ballymartin Wind Farm is the only commercial wind farm in this region. It currently comprises three turbines with four more to come on stream shortly.
“I have always been a supporter of wind farms, as has my family. Our home farm is part of this scheme. There were fears in the past about their impact but my belief is that they are key to our future – provided that they comply with planning and are not located in proximity to anyone’s home.”
He said Bord Gáis Energy continued to be a key player in the Irish Wind market and had 15% of the installed wind capacity in Ireland. “Ireland needs long-term investment in projects such as the Ballymartin Wind Farm if we are to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and meet strict environmental targets. Over the next three years Bord Gais Energy will invest a further €400 million on renewable energy projects such as we have here in Ballymartin
“As this critical market develops, there will be new and bigger market opportunities for our renewable energy sector. We must ensure that projects such as Ballymartin Wind Farm which harness our natural wind resource are encouraged so that Ireland can establish itself as a key renewable energy trading country,” Deputy Phelan said.
Information on Ballymartin Wind Farm
• 6 MW of export capacity – enough to generate energy for over 4,000 homes.
• 25 year lifecyle
• Planning was granted in December 2010 for an extension of 4 turbines which will bring the total power generation to 14MW. Construction on this extension will begin in the fouth quarter of this year.